Two Poems
Andrew Demcak

Automated Response to Mark Strand

What matters is: the bird is in the tree.
The eyes of the reader are hard and cold.
Where the fish leaps from the page, the farmer

in his costume begins to aspire;
he will not have tenderness to learn from.
The fact of the world is that it is hard

and cold. The poem is a permission
given away. The bird is in the tree
once more, and the hidden self revealed.

At the West Oakland BART
(for Larry Kaplun)

An arable land, his mind awaits,
this rag-bone man positioned, silent
as a puddle full of stars. His benched

despair, the moon killed by disregard.
The awkward BART station beeps its answer.
On the platform atoll, commuters rouse

like colonial owners. Their white shirts
freshly pressed, indifferent, as morning
brings its improvisation of dampness.